What are the Teachable Moments on Zoo’s and Animals in Captivity

Big and Little, at the Philadelphia Zoo, a few years back
Big and Little, at the Philadelphia Zoo, a few years back

We are all talking about it, the tragedy, a real shonda (shame), that happened this week at the Cincinnati Zoo.

  • The world lost Harambe, a western lowland silverback gorilla, critically endangered
  • A crowd of people witnessed a horrific killing
  • The zoo is feeling the heat of anger for their decision, the loss of a dear friend, and a meaningful failure in conservancy of this species
  • A little boy hopefully learned from a very painful lesson
  • and a Mother is being vilified around the world

Many witnesses at the scene say that the beautiful silverback gorilla was acting in a protective manner. Actually protecting the curious boychik (boy toddler) who climbed over and through barriers to fall 10 feet into the den of Harambe.

Harambe, he held the boys hand as the crowd screamed in fear, panicked at the situation. Harambe helped the boy pull his pants up…

Who knows? Nu? But as a mom, a parent, a caregiver, we have all had that fleeting flash of time, where we have lost sight of our kinder (kid(s)), when our hearts beat loudly in our chests, and our throats could barely swallow. Thankfully, kaynahorah (the evil eye was not with us) our outcomes were different. Relief delightedly poured over us at the safe sighting, of our wee ones.

This mom is no different from is. She had that same split second stint in time.  But hers resulted in a tragic, global loss. A farshtunken (stinky, smelly, awful) outcome, no matter how you see this.

At our home, me and the Mrs., and Little and Big had a conversation about the zoo event during dinner. Big was visually disturbed. She hid her face with her hands. Screamed, “No! Why?”

Little, a real animal whisperer she is, was pensive, quiet. Then, she spoke. I asked her again to repeat it the next morning:

Some things we talked about further:

  • Zoo animals are not pets, nor are they tame in any way
  • Some view zoos as wonderful institutions of conservancy and propagation of endangered species
  • Some view zoos like “Black Fish”

Either way, whatever your point of view, talk to the kinder (children). Hear their views. Share yours. Reinforce the importance of:

  • Listening ears
  • Mommy’s (enter appropriate caregiver title here) always have your best interest at heart
  • We need to be gentle, tender stewards of this planet we live on

We will miss you terribly Harambe. We all tear a cloth in your honor. I know here in our house, we hope that conservancy work continues. That this beautiful creature that was Harambe, has a legacy.

And for this momma, who is now broken and battered, we wish you some peace and clarity from a crushing visit to the zoo.

A bei gesunt (We should all live and be well).


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25 thoughts on “What are the Teachable Moments on Zoo’s and Animals in Captivity

  1. It’s so sad that everyone is quick to jump on the bandwagon and blame the mother. I like the way you’ve focused on lessons learnt. Very balanced. I hope with the death of Harambe that all involved learn from the unfortunate series of events #momsterslink

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The rage and hysteria around this has been truly terrifying. No one should be vilified like that, no matter where the blame lies. And any parent who says they’ve never lost sight of their kids in public is a liar. This kind of thing can happen to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m really enjoying your posts – thanks for connecting with us! I think I agree with your daughter about Zoo’s – in recent years we’ve visited large safari parks/ conservation parks where the animals have much more free space and can roam. I find seeing large animals in cages disturbing. It is regrettable what has happened, I don’t think its right how the Mother has been blamed by the media. Thanks for linking up and sharing – also I love the word farshtunken ! #stayclassy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Farshtunken is an awesome word! I hope you can add that to your repertoire! Thanks for having me at the #stayclassy linky! I love hanging with all of you, learning and meeting new people, and reading more great stuff! Sarah, you rock!


  4. Pingback: Momsterslink ~ June 10, 2016 | Domesticated Momster

  5. What a smart little girl you have there. I have read some of the stories here and there and everyone is so quick to point fingers at everyone instead of just realizing that it was just an accident that ended in tragedy. Same as something like a car accident in which someone is killed. I too am not particularly fond of zoos. Animals weren’t meant to be kept in cages regardless how big they are. Thanks for linking with #momsterslink :))

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Momsterslink ~ June 10, 2016 – lisapomerantzster: Are we there yet?

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